Life Without Fossil Fuels – This is what it looks like

In Florida no less. I could hype this piece up, but why? They do such a good job. The place even has its own website.

Home

So here is one version of the story.

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96772-residents-move-americas-first-solar-powered-town

Residents Move Into America’s First Solar Powered Town

Residents will live in solar powered homes and ride around the community in self-driving, solar-powered shuttles. Babcock Ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida, has been in the making since 2005. A city of 50,000 is forecast.
January 18, 2018, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid

“Families are starting to move into what is being called America’s first solar-powered town,” announces John Dickerson for CBS This Morning on Jan. 16. “Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it’s finished.”

Developer Syd Kitson is building 20,000 homes for a projected 50,000 people, states Dickerson in the newscast video accompanying the article.

There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

One critical energy element lacking in the solar-powered community will be adequate energy storage to allow the city to be truly self-powered:

The town doesn’t run on solar power all the time. At night, when the sun is down, it has to draw from the traditional electrical grid. Kitson says the technology for storing all that surplus energy the solar cells generate during the day is still too costly.

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Go There. I mean literally go there if you can. If not go there and read. More next week.

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When The Coal Industry Dies – This is what it looks like

Once renewables get a bite of the apple eating it down to the core does not take long. I know that is a really bad metaphor, but right now besides doing my happy dance it is the best I can come up with.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/03/renewables-conservation-start-pushing-fossil-fuels-off-the-us-grid/?comments=1&post=35009197

US electricity use drops, renewables push fossil fuels out of the mix

2017 saw both coal and natural gas use decline.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney once said that “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” But in the US, increased energy efficiency has helped drive a drop in total electricity use. That, combined with the rise of renewable power, caused the use of both coal and natural gas to decline last year.

The changes, according to the Energy Information Agency, are relatively small. Total electric generation last year was down 1.5 percent compared to the year before, a drop of 105,000 GigaWatt-hours. But both coal and natural gas saw declines that were even larger. Coal use was down by 2.5 percent, a smaller decline than it has seen in many recent years. But the numbers for its future aren’t promising; no new coal plants were opened, and 6.3 Gigawatts of coal capacity were retired in 2017.

Continuing recent trends, 9.3GW of natural gas capacity were brought online, although that was partly offset by the retirement of 4.0GW of older gas plants. Despite the additional capacity, however, natural gas use was also down, dropping by nearly 8 percent.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Stop Fracking On March 15 – Ya’ll come out now Ya’hear

I will keep this short and simple. The Big Greens screwed us. Yah you know who your are, The Sierra Club, The National Resources Defense Fund, The Illinois Environmental Council,  The Nature Conservancy,  and  Environmental Law & Policy Center. Those Chicago based groups shoved fracking down our throats. Now here is a chance to push back.

http://www.illinoispeoplesaction.org/fracking.html

Fight fracking.  Do this one thing today.

IPA’s fracking transparency bill (SB3174) is going before the Senate Subcommittee at 11 AM on this Thursday, March 15.  Please take a few minutes and “slip support” for this bill today.  Click here to read the bill.  The bill amends the Illinois Oil and Gas Act to de-classify information on the length and direction of horizontal or directional extensions from a vertical bore hole.  (Right now, they can be kept confidential for up to 2 years).  It also provides that all chemicals used during the drilling and completion of these wells be contained in public records.

THEN, Click here to submit your witness slip.  Scroll down to SB3174 and then, on the right hand side of that line, click the little icon with the pencil and paper that says “Create Witness Slip.” If you previously set up a witness slip account, you may click the Log On link to auto-add your personal info to the slip, otherwise you will need to add this information (See Witness Slip Personal Info below).  In parts III and IV, choose Proponent and Record of Appearance OnlyClick the box that says you agree to the terms and then click the Create(Slip) button.   You should get a response that has a green checkmark that says “Witness Slip Created” and that a confirmation has been sent to your e-mail.  If you do not get that, try again.

Witness Slip Personal Info:

  •    Enter your name, complete address and phone number
  •    Firm/Business or Agency:
    •   Enter Self
    •   Do not enter the name of an entity such as an organization unless you are authorized to represent that organization
  •    Representation:
    •   Enter Self
    •   If you are representing an organization, enter the name of the organization
  •    Title
    •   Enter Self or NA Do NOT type N/A, just NA as special characters such as back-slashes are not allowed.
    •   If you are representing an organization, enter your title in that organization

FINALLY, plan to attend the hearing at 11 AM this Thursday, March 15 at the State Capitol.  We want to pack the hearing room with as many people as we can holding small signs calling for passage the bill.  If you are available on Thursday, please join us.  We anticipate that the industry will be there testifying to the fact that THEY can and should be the ones to decide what transparency looks like.  They are already asking for the bill to be “pulled” in exchange for them to disclose their version of the facts in an industry website.  We say NO; the public has a right to all of the information on the IDNR website.

Thank you for joining us in the fight to put People and Planet First,

Dawn

Dawn Dannenbring, Environmental Organizer

Illinois People’s Action

To remove your name from this email list click here. To unsubscribe from all emails from us click here.

510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Be there or be square. Go to the website and read. More next week.

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Finally A Place To Put Nuclear Waste – Shut up environmentalists

I have said for 30 years, storing nuclear waste onsite is dumb and dangerous. Especially at nuclear power plants. Yes the waste is dangerous and proper precautions must be taken. YES accidents will happen. But how many Fukushimas do you want to see. Melt downs and other disasters are really really bad, but how much worse are they with 1000s of tons of radioactive waste present. Yes, I think they should open Yucca Mountain as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/03/06/will-we-actually-get-a-place-to-store-our-nuclear-waste/#283213a023a0

 

Will We Actually Get A Place To Store Our Nuclear Waste?

, I write about nuclear, energy and the environment

It certainly looks like it. At the end of February, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted Holtec International’s license application for its proposed consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, called HI-STORE CIS.

To be located in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, the facility would store spent nuclear fuel, which is better referred to as slightly used nuclear fuel, until a final disposal facility is built or until we build our new fast reactors that will burn it, or we recycle it into new fuel.

Reactor fuel usually spends five years in the reactor, after which about 5% of the energy in the fuel is used, but fission products of the reactions have built-up to the point where the fuel must be replaced. After leaving the reactor, the spent fuel usually spends about 5 years in spent fuel pools of water, until heat and radiation have decreased sufficiently to allow the fuel to be passively cooled in a dry cask (see 1,2,3).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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